Kia launches ethanol-gasoline powered Soul for Brazilian market
The new Soul Flex is being debuted at the Brazilian Motor Show in São Paulo and is scheduled to go on sale in Brazil early next year.
Able to run on 100% ethanol, 100% gasoline or an ethanol-petrol mixture, it has been especially designed for the Brazilian market, where "flex" models account for more than 85% of the new car sales.
Brazil is currently ranked second in the world, in terms of ethanol production, and drivers there can benefit from the low cost of ethanol, which is priced at 40% less than petrol. In addition, the industrial product tax (purchase tax) on new flex vehicles is only 11% – 2% lower than petrol models.
Featuring different exterior styling to the conventional Soul, the Soul Flex also boasts a 44% improvement in fuel efficiency. Power output is also improved at 128PS (up 3.2%).
The model also features a newly adapted fuel injection and catalyst system as well as engine compression ratio to improve fuel economy. In addition, the fuel pump, pillar cap and fuel line have been reinforced to deal with the more abrasive nature of ethanol fuel while a petrol tank assistance system has been fitted to help engine ignition at low temperatures.
Kia says it aims to further strengthen its presence in the Brazilian market by introducing new flex models into each market segment – starting with an all-new Sportage FFV towards the end of 2011.